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What Challenges are Facing CCPS?

Blueprint Requirements

“The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” legislation, approved by the state of Maryland in 2021, will guide education efforts and funding in the state for over 10 years.  The Blueprint contains many requirements for CCPS, including:

♦  Expanding access to full-day Pre-K for many families.

♦  Providing additional planning time for teachers during the school day.  This is referred to as the 60/40 split, meaning 40% of the day devoted to planning time.

♦  Increasing the amount CCPS must pay in tuition to Carroll Community College for high school students particpating in the dual-enrollment program.

♦  Allocating more resources and increasing per pupil spending for students within certain 'targeted populations,' including English Language Learners, Special Education, and students from lower-income families.

Read more details about "The Blueprint for Maryland's Future."

Budget Shortfalls and Restrictions

♦  While many of the Blueprint objectives may be beneficial, each has a significant financial cost.  Most significantly, CCPS may need to expand school and classroom space and will need to hire dozens (perhaps hundreds) of teachers.  Without increased funding to cover those expenses, CCPS will be forced to shift staff, resulting in higher class sizes at many schools.

♦  Under the Blueprint funding formulas, Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) will receive less state funding than other counties. Further, Blueprint requirements currently place restrictions on how the funds are spent by CCPS.  Under Blueprint, CCPS must spend 75% of State funds and its own funds within certain categories such as the targeted student populations described below.

♦  CCPS Superintendent McCabe and the BOE requested an additional $6.7 million to address expenses related to inflation and implementation of the Blueprint for FY2024.

How Serious is the Budget Crisis? Don't just take our word for it...

At the Board of Education meeting held on February 8, 2023, President Marsha Herbert made a plea to parents to contact Commissioners in support of the funding request:

"The parents need to support us 100%.  I am asking for parents to contact the Carroll County Commissioners and ask them for the funding we need.  You can email them.  You can write them.  You can call them.  You can attend their meetings.  They need to hear from you.  But if we, as a group of parents, do not contact them, we will not get that funding.  We can not do this alone.  We need your help, Carroll County parents.  I can’t stress this enough.  If you don’t want to see this school system look completely different in two years, you need to call, contact Carroll County Commissioners."

-- Mrs. Herbert, President of the CC BOE, 2/8/2023

At the March 8, 2023 Board of Education Meeting, Superintendent McCabe commented on the looming budget crisis:

"What you’re seeing as far as budget goes is just the tip of the iceberg right now.  We are going to have to implement Blueprint.  And in doing so that’s going to mean a lot of cuts at certain schools and a lot of additions to other schools....  These are very serious times and this year we have a budget crisis that we’re dealing with.  But next year the budget crisis will be at least four times what it is this year...."

-- CCPS Superintendent McCabe, 3/8/2023

 What Can We Do?  Speak to our Elected Officials!

(1)  Urge the Commissioners to grant the Superintendent’s request for additional funding by:

♦  Signing the Change.Org Petition at: https://chng.it/WDPKhSSZ (We are not asking for any donations, just for you to sign and share the petition.)

♦  Emailing the Carroll County Commissioners directly: commissioners@carrollcountymd.gov

The Commissioners meet on April 4, 2023 for a FY24 budget work session.  Please make your voice heard before then.  Emails to the Commissioners can be as long or as short as you’d like, for example:

♦  I support the Superintendent's request for additional funding.

♦  Please fully fund our schools.

♦  As a constituent of yours, I am concerned about needed additional funding for Carroll County Schools. As the county Board of Education leaders have recently warned us, the county schools will not be able to function well if an additional $6.7 million is not secured for the 2024 budget. If we fail to invest in our precious children and their future, it will not only impact them negatively, it will also harm our property values and start our county in a bad direction. Education has to be one of our primary investments, and I ask you and our county leaders to give our schools the funding they need.

(2)  Any changes to the Blueprint would need to be legislated by the Maryland General Assembly.  Write to elected officials asking them to:

-- Hold counties like Carroll accountable for our results relative to our neighbors in exchange for greater flexibility on things like restrictions on compensatory education spending.

-- Ease the timeline of the Blueprint phase-in to allow financially struggling school systems more time to meet the challenges.

-- Relax restrictions on how local school systems can spend funds under the Blueprint.

-- Revise funding formulas so that more state funds are allocated to school systems under the Foundation funding category.

-- Here's a sample letter to get you started!

I am deeply concerned about the challenges facing Carroll County Public Schools relating to the implementation of the Blueprint.  We have excellent public schools in Carroll County and are concerned about large class sizes and an inability to allocate resources across all our schools as a result of implementing Blueprint.  Please work with your colleagues to enact flexibility into the Blueprint requirements because each jurisdiction is facing unique challenges.

Holding county school systems accountable for their results relative to other systems in exchange for greater flexibility on Blueprint requirements – like restrictions on compensatory education spending – would go a long way to help Carroll County Public Schools.  Please work to ease the timeline of the Blueprint phase-in to allow financially struggling school systems more time to meet the challenges.  Relaxing restrictions on how local school systems can spend funds under the Blueprint would allow local jurisdictions to meet their unique challenges.  Additionally, please consider revising funding formulas so that more state funds are allocated to school systems under the Foundation funding category, leading to greater flexibility.

I value the education of Maryland’s children and appreciate you working hard to make the Blueprint implementation successful for students in Carroll County and across the state.

♦  Please contact the elected officials in the State Senate and House of Delegates who represent Carroll County:

State Senate - District 5, Justin D. Ready, email:  justin.ready@senate.state.md.us

State Senate - District 42, Christopher R. (Chris) West, email:  chris.west@senate.state.md.us

House of Delegates - District 5, Christopher Eric Bouchat, email:  eric.bouchat@house.state.md.us

House of Delegates - District 5, April R. Rose, email:  april.rose@house.state.md.us

House of Delegates - District 5, Chris L. Tomlinson, email:  chris.tomlinson@house.state.md.us

House of Delegates - District 42C, Joshua J. Stonko, email:  joshua.stonko@house.state.md.us

♦  Additionally, beyond those who represent Carroll County, you can contact:

Senators on the Education, Energy and the Environment Committee, email:  AA_EHE@mlis.state.md.us

Delegates on the Ways and Means Committee, email:  AA_WAM@mlis.state.md.us

Senate President - Bill Ferguson, email:  bill.ferguson@senate.state.md.us

Senate Minority Leader - Stephen Hershey, Jr., email:  steve.hershey@senate.state.md.us

Speaker of the House - Adrienne Jones, email:  adrienne.jones@house.state.md.us

House Minority Whip - Jesse Pippy, email:  jesse.pippy@house.state.md.us

♦  You can also direct comments to state leaders and the Maryland State Department of Education.  Consider contacting the Blueprint’s Accountability & Implementation Board (AIB) either by submitting comments online or by email to aib@maryland.gov.

Calendar of Upcoming Events

♦  Town Hall on the Blueprint with CCPS Superintendent McCabe, Monday, March 20, 2023, 6:00 p.m., Century High School (media center), Sykesville.  If you missed the Town Hall, view the Slides and watch the Recording.

♦  Carroll County Commissioners FY24 Budget Work Session, Tuesday, April 4, 2023

♦  Joint Meeting with CC BOE and Commissioners, Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 1-2:30pm

♦  CC BOE Meeting, Wednesday, April 12, 2023, 5pm

♦  Town Hall on the Blueprint with CCPS Superintendent McCabe, Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 6:00 p.m., Winters Mill High School (media center), 560 Gorsuch Road, Westminster

♦  Carroll County Commissioners plan to Adopt the FY2024 Budget on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 (View the budget meeting schedule)


Related Links

♦  CCPS Superintendent McCabe held a Blueprint Town Hall on March 20, 2023 at Century High School.  Watch the recording and view the slides.

♦  The most recent CC BOE Meeting on March 8, 2023 had signifcant discussion on class size and budget.

32:42 -- Superintendent McCabe's response about budget issues being "tip of the iceberg"

2:54:50 -- Discussion on class size

♦  The Superintendent’s proposed budget, including the full presentation, full proposed budget, and summary is available under the ‘News’ tab at: https://www.carrollk12.org/operation/financial-services/budget

♦  You may also watch the Superintendent present her funding request to the Commissioners in this Joint meeting held on January 11: Board of County Commissioners and Board of Education Joint Meeting January 11, 2023 - YouTube

♦  To more fully understand the funding formulas and financial implications of Blueprint requirements on our county, please watch this November 30, 2022 meeting between the Board of Education (BOE) and state delegates representing CC, Senators Chris West and Justin Ready.

♦  You may also review CCPS working draft Blueprint Implementation Plan and provide feedback.

News Articles

Smith, T. (2023, March 21).  Carroll Superintendent Cynthia McCabe forecasts schools that will lose staff due to Blueprint implementation.  Carroll County Times. https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll/education/cc-superintendent-blueprint-town-hall-century-20230321-pxlnwr6o6nbirmukroyv6tzij4-story.html

Smith, T. (2023, March 11).  Buget Process Raises Issues.  Carroll County Timeshttp://digitaledition.carrollcounty.baltimoresun.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=fa1b909e-db12-4585-a229-75e0164553ad

Smith, T. (2023, March 12).  Proposed Schedule Changes Rejected.  Carroll County Times.  http://digitaledition.carrollcounty.baltimoresun.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=fd9e376a-1294-4852-9d2c-d7a2b2099ee6

Letters from LSE PTA

LSE PTA has previously sent letters to the Carroll County Commissioners and the Board of Education which contain informative summaries of issues, and language which can be used in letters or emails to BOE members, the Commissioners or State legislators.

Letter from LSE PTA to State Senators and Delegates -- March 22, 2023 -- Urging elected officials to pass legislation to add flexibility to the Blueprint implementation.  This letter was sent individually to the following elected officials:

Senator Ready

Senator West

Delegate Bouchet

Delegate Rose

Delegate Stonko

Delegate Tomlinson

Senate members of the Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee

Delegates of the Ways and Means Committee

Senate President Ferguson

Senate Minority Leader Hershey

Speaker of the House Jones

House Minority Whip Pippy

Letter from LSE PTA to the CC Commissioners -- March 2023 -- Urging the Commissioners to fully fund CCPS at the Superintendent and BOE's additional request of $6.7 million

Letter from LSE PTA to the CC BOE -- November 2022 -- Urging the BOE to ask for increased funding to CCPS to address the funding challenges and stating that LSE PTA would also support that request to the Commissioners

Letter from LSE PTA to the CC BOE -- September 2022 -- Thanking them for slowing down on the redistricting process until more information can be gathered

Letter from LSE PTA to the CC Commissioners -- July 2022 -- Advocating additional funding to CCPS to address increased enrollment, inflationary costs, and playground replacements.

Concerned?  Join our Effort

Contact the LSE PTA Advocacy Committee:  LSEPTA.Advocacy@gmail.com

Follow LSE PTA Advocacy Committee Updates

March 28, 2023 Advocacy Update

March 2023 Advocacy Update